Product placement involving electronic cigarettes is becoming more commonplace in Hollywood films, as SmokeStik becomes the latest brand to make an appearance at the cinema.
'Cymbeline', an adaptation of the William Shakespeare play, stars Milla Jovovich who, throughout the film, uses an electronic cigarette. The brand being promoted is SmokeStik and this is highlighted by the fact that in one scene, signs advertising the brand can be spotted in the background.
SmokeStik's chief executive, Bill Marangos, believes that e-cigs cause less harm than other tobacco products.
“I don't see a problem with glamorising something that saves lives,” he told wsj.com.
Actor Michael Shannon also commented about the use of e-cigs in films, stating that they make the perfect props for villains who appear “too slick to be trusted”.
Ramin Bahrani, the director of '99 Homes', which sees Shannon use an e-cig, first made the suggestion. The actor added that it's likely other directors are going to start using the devices as props too, reports dailymail.co.uk.
Other tobacco products cannot pay for product placements in films and Pamela Ling, a professor at the University of California San Francisco, states that e-cig firms are taking advantage of the fact they are not regulated in the same way. However, she believes this won't be the case for long.
“There is a spirit of, 'As long as we can get away with this, let's do it now!'” she said.